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CAT VARC Exam Analysis 2021 (Out): Check Section-wise Analysis, Difficulty Level, & Weightage

Shekhar Sumann logo

Shekhar Sumann

Exams Prep Master | Updated On - Nov 29, 2021

CAT VARC 2021 Exam Analysis: The total number of questions in CAT 2021 Slot 1, 2 and 3 of VARC has been reduced to 24 from 26 as per the changes introduced by IIM in the question paper pattern. CAT 2021 test takers have rated the VARC slot 1, 2 & 3 papers of moderate difficulty level with a maximum number of questions from RC. 

  • A total of 4 sets of RC with 4 questions each were there in Slot 1 paper. Along with that 19 MCQ and 5 TITA-type questions were asked in VARC slot 1 paper. 
  • In VARC Slot 2 paper, from RC 4 sets of 4 questions each had been asked. Reaming 8 questions were from VA. 
  • Slot 3 paper was of moderate to high difficulty level 19 MCQ and 5 TITA-type questions.
  • As per experts, the good attempts for all the 3 slots of VARC paper could be around 16 to 18 questions. Check CAT 2021 Cut off
  • Based on CAT DILR Exam Analysis,the overall difficulty level of DILR was moderate and the difficulty level of QA paper was easy to moderate with some tricky questions. Check CAT QA Exam Analysis

Download Memory Based Paper: CAT Question Paper (2021 Slot 1 & 3)

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CAT 2021 Slot 1 Exam Analysis of VARC

Based on the initial reaction of test-takers, CAT 2021 Slot 1 Exam Analysis of VARC is provided below. 

  • Maximum number of questions had been asked from RC i.e. a total of 4 sets of RC with 4 questions each were there in Slot 1 paper.
  • Along with that 19 MCQ and 5 TITA-type questions were asked in VARC slot 1 paper. 
  • As per experts the good attempts for slot 1 VARC paper could be around 16 to 18 questions.
  • Other than that, 3 questions each were asked from Para jumbles and para summary. 

CAT 2021 Slot 2 Exam Analysis of VARC

Based on the initial reaction of test-takers, CAT 2021 Slot 2 Exam Analysis of VARC is provided below. 

  • A total of 4 sets of RC with 4 questions each were there in Slot 2 paper.
  • 8 questions were from Verbal Ability. 
  • Like Slot 1 paper, this slot also had 3 questions each were asked from Para jumbles and para summary.
  • 2 questions were asked from odd one out topic.
Passages Topics
Passage 1 British Colonies – India’s Reaction (History-Based)
Passage 2 Truth and Power (Philosophy Based)
Passage 3 Knowledge – How you perceive it
Passage 4 Languages – Linguistic

CAT 2021 Slot 3 Exam Analysis of VARC

Based on the initial reaction of test-takers, CAT 2021 Slot 3 Exam Analysis of VARC is provided below. 

  • Like slot 1 and 2, slot 3 also had 4 sets of RC with 4 questions each. 
  • 2 RCs were rated difficult while the other two were doable and easy. 
  • Again, 3 questions each were asked from Para jumbles and para summary.

CAT 2020 VARC Slot 1 Analysis

CAT 2020 VARC Slot 1 Analysis

Topic Number of Questions Type of Question Difficulty Level
Reading Comprehension 18 MCQ Medium to Difficult
RC-1: Currency in the Tang Empire 4 MCQ Easy to Medium
RC- 2: Elephant Seal Migration 5 MCQ Medium to Difficult
RC-3: the importance of Grammar 5 MCQ Easy to Medium
RC-4: Subsets of Anarchist philosophy 4 MCQ Medium to Difficult
Verbal Ability 8 MCQ and TITA Medium
Out of Context sentence 2 TITA Easy to Medium
Para Jumbles (4 sentences) 3 TITA Medium to Difficult
Summary 3 MCQ Easy to Medium

CAT 2020 VARC Slot 2 Analysis

CAT 2020 VARC Slot 2 Analysis

Topic Number of Questions Type of Question Difficulty Level
Reading Comprehension 18 MCQ Medium to Difficult
RC-1: Piracy in International Waters 4 MCQ Easy to Medium
RC- 2: Renewable Energy Technologies 5 MCQ Medium to Difficult
RC-3: The Study of Visual Culture 5 MCQ Easy to Medium
RC-4: Aggression - Theories and Models 4 MCQ Medium to Difficult
Verbal Ability 08 MCQ & TITA Medium
Para Jumbles 3 TITA Medium to Difficult
Out of Context Sentence 2 TITA Easy to Medium
Summary 3 MCQ Easy to Medium

CAT 2020 VARC Slot 3 Analysis

CAT 2020 VARC Slot 3 Analysis

Topic No. of Questions Ideal Attempt
Reading Comprehension 18 (5+5+4+4) 14-15
Verbal Ability - Parajumbles 3 3
Verbal Ability - Summary 3 3
Verbal Ability - Parajumbles (Odd-sentence out) 2 2

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CAT 2019 VARC Slot 1 Analysis

CAT 2019 VARC Slot 1 Analysis

Considering the overall performance and difficulty of the section, an ideal attempt could have been 24-26 questions with 90% accuracy. A rough score of 55-60 marks could fetch a percentile between 97-99. Also check Syllabus for CAT 2021

Composition of section Number of questions Difficulty Level
RC passage-1: Story of Aladdin-as shared by Antonio Galland in 1712, learnt from Syrian story teller Diyab 5 MCQs Reasonably Difficult
RC Passage-2: Idea of Folk 5 MCQs Tricky sentence formation and difficult vocabulary
RC Passage-3: Emperor Penguins in Antarctica- Covering heating, radiation, convection 4 MCQs Reasonably Difficult
RC passage-4: Topophilia, the affective bond between people and place by Yi-Fu Tuan  5 MCQs Moderate to Difficult
RC Passage-5: Contemporary Internet Shopping - Few choices are better than many options 5 MCQs Reasonably Difficult
Parajumbles 4 Questions (Non-MCQs) Reasonably Difficult
Para Summary 3 Questions (Non-MCQs) Reasonably Difficult
Odd sentence Out 3 Questions (Non-MCQs) Reasonably Difficult

For the last few years, CAT has been dedicatedly asking 5 RCs. So, the first step is to maximize your efficiency in RCs. Verbal Ability part consists of mostly para summaries/ para completion (3-4), para jumbles (3-4) and odd sentences (3-4), at times including questions related to grammar or sentence corrections. Out of these 10 questions, around 6-7 would be TITA (Text Input Type Answer) type questions. Read the article to know more about the VARC trend in CAT in previous years.

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CAT 2019 VARC Slot 2 Analysis

CAT 2019 VARC Slot 2 Analysis

In Slot 2 of CAT 2019, VARC had 34 questions, with 10 non-MCQ questions without any negative marking. The section began with RC Passages and concluded with questions on Verbal Ability. The ten questions on Verbal Ability were of Non-MCQ nature. 

Composition of section Number of questions Difficulty Level
RC passage-1: British Colonialism 5 MCQs Reasonably Difficult
RC Passage-2: Museums, Arts 5 MCQs Difficult with tricky sentence formation and vocabulary
RC Passage-3: Central Governments & Decentralization 5 MCQs Reasonably Difficult
RC passage-4: Ecology 5 MCQs Moderate to Difficult
RC Passage-5: Cultural Identity & Language – Egyptian 4 MCQs Reasonably Difficult
Parajumbles 4 Questions (Non-MCQs) Reasonably Difficult
Para Summary 3 Questions (Non-MCQs) Reasonably Difficult
Odd sentence Out 3 Questions (Non-MCQs) Reasonably Difficult

CAT 2018 VARC Slot 1 Analysis

CAT 2018 VARC Slot 1 Analysis

  • Students who sat for CAT 2018 Slot 1 found the VARC section to be a replica of CAT 2017 in terms of the question types. Questions on Grammar and Vocabulary were clearly not visible.
  • RC had 4 passages, each with 5 questions; and 1 passage with 4 questions, making it a total of 24 questions. There were around 5 questions in RC that looked more like Critical Reasoning/Application. The passages were long, ranging around 450-800 words.
  • About 6 questions were direct and easy. Questions based on inferences were easy to medium on the difficulty level scale. A major deviation was noticed in Paragraph Jumbles wherein 4 sentences were asked to rearrange instead of 5, making the paragraph jumbles section relatively easy.
  • Of the 10 VA questions (Shuffled), 7 were descriptive questions and 3 were MCQs. The 3 Out-of-context sentence questions were descriptive, 4 paragraph jumbles were descriptive, whereas 3 questions from paragraph summary/author’s opinion were MCQ based with negative marking. 
Area / Questions No of Qs. Type Level of Difficulty
Reading Comprehension 24 MCQ Overall: Easy to Medium
RC-1: Happiness and Economics. Approx. 500 words 5 MCQ Easy – Medium
RC- 2: Human elephant relationship Approx. 500 words 5 MCQ Easy
RC-3: Absence of WWII memorials in India Approx. 500 words 5 MCQ Easy
RC-4: Problem of single use plastic. Approx. 800 words 5 MCQ Easy
RC-5: Influence of parental gene in mice. – Approx. 600 words 4 MCQ Medium
Verbal Ability 10 MCQ & TITA Overall: Easy to Medium
Parajumbles ( 4 sentences) 4 TITA 2 Medium; 2 Easy
Out of Context sentence 3 TITA 1 Easy; 2 Medium
Summary 3 MCQ 1 Easy; 1 Medium; 1 Difficult

CAT 2018 VARC Slot 2 Analysis

CAT 2018 VARC Slot 2 Analysis

The difficulty level of VARC section Slot 2 was similar to that of Slot 1. RC had 4 passages, each carrying 5 questions; and 1 passage with 4 questions - majority of the questions were based on critical reasoning type and inference questions.

Area / Questions No of Qs. Type Level of Difficulty
Reading Comprehension 24 MCQ Overall Easy to Medium
RC-1: Evolution of white lipped snails Approx.- 550 words 4 MCQ Easy
RC- 2: Saturn’s rings and several of its moons –Approx. 600 words 5 MCQ Easy to Medium
RC-3: Evaluation based on metric fixation- Approx. 500 words 5 MCQ Easy
RC-4: Access of the poor to government Services – Approx. 700 words 5 MCQ Easy to Medium
RC-5: – Fallacy of Meritocracy- Approx. 650 words. (The same passage was a part of SimCAT6) 5 MCQ Easy to Medium
Verbal Ability 10 MCQ & TITA Overall Easy to Medium
Parajumbles 4 TITA 4 Easy
Out of Context sentence 3 TITA 2 Easy; 1 Medium
Summary 3 MCQ 1 Easy; 2 Medium

VARC Analysis of Previous Years

VARC Questions Analysis of Previous Years

If one analyses the trend of VARC section of the past 3 years after CAT 2018, one can understand that the difficulty level of the section throughout the three years has remained more or less the same. The major change was seen in the question pattern as there were no MCQ questions until 2016.

Details 2017 2016 2015
Overall Easier than 2016 with common topics ranging from Economy, Culture, Technology, Business, Finance Easy vocabulary but lengthy passages with few tricky questions. Topics were mostly from Economics, Environment and Linguistic Studies Simple Content with Tough and Tricky Questions and Options. It was a surprise since it did not have Grammar and Vocabulary questions
Word Limit 300 - 650 300 - 650 600 - 800
Question Break up Moderate : 8 Easy :16 Tough: 2-3 Moderate: 8-9 Easy: 14-15 Moderate: 8-10 Easy: 14-15
Overall Difficulty Reasonably Difficult Reasonably Difficult Reasonably Difficult

Verbal Ability Question Analysis

Of all the questions that had appeared in CAT Verbal Ability in 2015, 2016, 2017, given below is the question distribution and their level of difficulty.

Details 2017 2016 2015
Para-Jumbles Tricky and Time Consuming 1 - Easy ; 3 Tough Tough
Summary Tough 2 - Easy; 1 - Tough Reasonably Difficult
Out of Context Easy Easy Reasonably Difficult
Overall Tough Easy - Moderate Tough- Moderate

VARC Overall Percentile

Overall Percentile in VARC

In order to get a good 97-98 percentile a candidate must make sure he/she has a minimum number of attempts such as:

Good Number of Attempts 2017 2016 2015
VA 18-21 17-18 20-22
RC 8-9 5-6 7-8
Overall 27-29 22-24 27-30

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CAT VARC Paper Analysis FAQs

Ques. While attempting CAT VARC paper what should be my good attempt based on previous years paper analysis?

Ans. Between 19-20 questions attempted with good accuracy can be considered a good attempt for CAT VARC section. If the accuracy rate of answering the questions is very low then it would affect the overall scores. 

Ques: Based on CAT VARC paper analysis what are the important topics or the topics with maxaimum weightage in final CAT exam?

Ans. All the topics in VARC are equally important but some of the topics with high weightage in the exam are ocabulary, grammar, verbal reasoning, and reading comprehension.

Ques. How many TITA questions are asked in CAT VARC paper?

Ans. Around 7-8 TITA questions are asked in CAT VARC paper. There is no negative marking for TITA questions hence candidates can attempt all such questions. 

Ques. What is the benefit of CAT VARC Exam Analysis for preparation?

Ans. Candidates can use the CAT VARC Paper Analysis for preparation. Candidates can check the weightage of questions, type of questions, difficulty level of paper by carefully analyzing the previous years CAT paper analysis.

Ques: How many questions should I attempt to get a 95+ percentile in VARC?

Ans. To get 95+ percentile in VARC, you must attempt 20 - 22 questions with 90% accuracy.

*The article might have information for the previous academic years, which will be updated soon subject to the notification issued by the University/College.

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